What do you think of when you hear the term negotiation? You may think about a big boardroom with two sides intensely negotiating over a multi million dollar contract. That is certainly one perspective of negotiation. The one most people imagine.
Let’s talk about negotiation from a different perspective. Think about it from the perspective of everyday life . Confused? The fact is, negotiation comes into play in every area of your life from the family room to the boardroom. Negotiation covers all aspects of your life, not only in business but in relationships and the day to day situations that you have to handle.
What have you had to negotiate today to get the day started? Choosing what to wear? Getting kids off to school? The freeway? Carpool? A meeting at work? These are all forms of negotiation whether it seems like it or not. Take for instance the simple (or not so simple..) task of choosing what to wear. You may have to decide to dress for a meeting or presentation vs just sitting at your desk at work or working from home in your home office. Perhaps you are traveling to a different climate and have to dress accordingly. Those decisions are the same types of decisions you would make when thinking about a business deal for a major negotiation. We negotiate every single day and don’t even realize it.
The key to being a successful negotiator is simply thinking like a negotiator. What that means is take a look at all the things you do throughout your day and think about the number of times you actually negotiated something. Did you have a discussion with your teen about coming home later than curfew? Did you ask your boss if you could rearrange your schedule at work so you could go to an appointment? Did the phone bill have an extra charge on it that you had to call to have removed? Did you have to call a creditor and arrange to pay a bill a little later this month? These are all negotiations.
Most people don’t realize the experience they already have in negotiation. Once you realize that you have a bit of a foundation, you can build on your skill and experience to gain expertise that will help you be a more proficient negotiator in all areas of you life.